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Post Info TOPIC: Kirby Stephen

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Kirby Stephen

Pleasant, small, if locally important market town.. Set between the dales and lakes had a few bits to offer. Siskin, House Martin, Swift, Swallow Buzzard, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Rook Carrion Crown, Jackdaw, several Goldcrest and an Oystercatcher.

The town is also known for a late resident called John Strutt who was a local aviarist and naturalist. He kept 50 Parrots and Macaws at his nearby pad in large aviaries but the differences beig he left the doors permanently open both as he believed in such an approach and after some were stolen. The result is a semi/totally wild flock of 50 Blue and Yellow Macaws, African Grey, Red Macaw and Amazon Parrots fly totally free around the area. John Strutt died in 2010 but the charitable foundation carried on his work at a local reserve and a local shopkeeper reports with the parrots as well.

Today Parrott sightings were no disappointment with a great racket near the market square revealing two red Macaws on someone chimney pot. Clearly a pair these have bred in the town in the past. Anther chimney had what looked like a bedsted welded to it I assume to stop the Parrotts. Another walk and a few minutes later another great din revealed three Blue and Gold Macaws flying at head height down the main street towards the Police Station. There were more similar sightings and that added two more species ticks to my wild alien list.

The strangest thing on these repeated great dins and appearances was that it was quite easy to see who were the locals and who were not. Locals seemed totally oblivious to the parrots and that it is the most natural thing in the world to have such birds flying up and down the main street in the heart of the Pennines, but for them for the last 50years it has been.

Well worth a visit if passing..

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 6th of May 2013 02:36:18 PM

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